Wednesday, March 22, 2017

TEFLology: Episode 56: Donald Trump, Assessment, & John Locke

(TEFLology Podcast)

Okay, so I'm still trying to catch up with my reviews.  This episode is several weeks old now.

It can still be listened to HERE, if anyone is interested.

I'll just jot down my thoughts briefly below:

John Locke
I'm pretty sure most Americans with an 8th grade education know that John Locke had a huge influence on the Declaration of Independence.  (More recently in my readings, I've picked up a little about John Locke's role in English history in the Glorious Revolution--for example from David Starkey's book Monarchy).
The confusion at the beginning of this segment made me suspect that perhaps John Locke is not as well-known in Britain as he is in America.  Or was that just the TEFLologists being playful by pretending to know John Locke only from Lost?

I had no idea that Locke had written about second language acquisition, though.  (The TEFLologists generally do a good job of finding famous philosophers throughout history and reveal that they had opinions of language and language teaching.  I remember a previous podcast on Augustine, for example.)
It turns out that John Locke's theories on learning languages closely resemble Krashen's theories, which just goes to show that a lot of modern applied linguistic theory is just old ideas wrapped up in new packages.  (To be fair to Krashen, in his book Krashen says pretty much exactly this--that he's not presenting a radically new idea, but just re-emphasizing the way people have always naturally learned languages historically.)

So, I've got a lot of my own opinions on assessment.  When I first started listening to this segment, I thought, "I'm going to have a lot of comments on this."
But actually, it turned out that in the course of the conversation, the TEFLologists pretty much said everything I was going to say anyway.
I've complained in the past that this podcast was more opinions than information, but to give credit where credit is due, they give a lot of good critical analysis.  They pretty much attacked this issue from just about every angle, and when they were done, I thought, "Yep, I've got nothing more to add to that."  I think most everything I would have wanted to say got said at one point or another during the discussion.

Donald Trump
Apparently the TEFLologists, like me, have been following Krashen's blog, because they mention Krashen's advocacy work on bilingual Education in California.

Also, I think my Alma Mater was referenced indirectly--when it was mentioned that Betsy Devos and all her children were raised in private schools.

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